Autumn’s Official 5-tip Novice Guide to Forging and Maintaining Healthy Relationships Based on What She’s Learned So Far (**Not Necessarily Based on Experience)
Ok, I know you clicked on this thinking, “Ooh, this oughta be good!” I can’t guarantee that you’ll enjoy this post but if you know anything at all about me you’ll know that I’m more of a “do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do” person. I rarely choose my head over my heart and emotion nearly always trumps logic. This leads to some fairly irrational and impulsive decisions…and some gnarly anecdotes. As I said to Sol yesterday, “La vida sería taaaaan aburrida sin nuestras fuerzas para complicarla” (Life would be sooooo boring without our tendencies/methods? of complicating it.)
^^May be hard to understand but this is one of my many brilliant ideas gone wrong; least we look happy!
You may have noticed that I’ve already been back in Buenos Aires for spring semester for over a month and have hardly written anything about school or how my life has been progressing here. I have (sorta) been expending all of my efforts and free time on writing about my epic summer trip. It really was quite the expedition and I’ve barely even begun to recount it, but I feel the need to briefly return to the present and catch you all up on my recent whirlwind of shenanigans and social faux pas.
Now I know I haven’t told you all much about my dating life here but I’m gonna let slip just a little bit. Since my ex-boyfriend just made his new girl Facebook official, I feel a little less awkward about publicizing these more delicate parts of my life on my blog. Yeah, I know, I’m still totally hung up on him (let’s hope he doesn’t read this), but the reality of it is that I’m here in Argentina and he’s in the USA and those two worlds are very far apart. Besides, I’m going to pretend that I have not gotten myself into any of the following situations and have been behaving myself quite nicely 🙂 I may have to kill you because I’ve told you.
Tip #1—While a successful couple will probably have many things in common with one another, it’s obligatorio that they share their country of residence. Seriously. Duh. You’re welcome.
I’m not saying long-distance relationships don’t work—just that long-distance long-term relationships don’t work. When I was in high school and was casually discussing the color we’d paint our master bedroom with the love of my life (at the time), the distance between Loveland and Fort Collins seemed to problematically drive us apart (25 miles.) Then he moved to Indiana, we decided maybe maroon was too cold a color for our walls, and we began to grow apart.
^^….We were disgustingly cheesy.
After a year of trying the long-distance thing, countless hours of Skype, and an uncomfortable episode that led my mother to remove the office room door, we finally cashed in the pieces of our hearts and called it quits. I think that any type of relationship is really hard to maintain from a distance. Once you aren’t sharing experiences, the conversations become a scripted version of what you do during the day and I-miss-you’s. Hardly keeps the passion alive.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been able to maintain some friendships for years over distances. My best friend from fifth grade is still important to me. We don’t talk very often but we still have inside jokes and catch up every once in a while. Whenever I do get to see her we can hang out like I never left (although we don’t crush gravel on the playground anymore….) Being six thousand miles away from so many people that I grew up with, love and care about—people I’ve shared my entire life with—is not ideal. Skype and the crappy app that I downloaded on my smartphone to text them are tedious and incomparable to a real-life hug. I knew that relationships would fade with time when I left and that I’d miss a lot by not being there, but knowing that didn’t really do much to prepare me for it. It’s not worse than I thought…it’s the same—it sucks. I love everyone back home so much but, I’m here now. I can only spend so much effort on holding up my social circle from my old life and spreading myself too thin is not an option right now. So distances are kind of a buzz kill on any relationships, and a deal breaker for romantic ones (eventually), just sayin’.
^^Me with my best friend from Middle School and her little sister 2 years ago
But whatever, my friends and family will always love me and I’m rambling. Moving, on:
Tip #2—In a world where your reputation is nonexistent, clean slate, try not to sabotage it by dating a classmate, then his best friend, then his other best friend, then making friends with the second guy’s ex-girlfriend, then flirting with her new boyfriend, then…you get the point. (Ok, I didn’t do this, but maybe something kind of sort of similar…..maybe….)
I am a total drama queen, but not in the “Oh no! I broke a nail!!!” way; more in the “Let’s get myself into the most uncomfortable, complicated, telenovela-esque situations possible” way. I recommend against that. While I’m all for the whole powerful, sexy, bold woman BS, I don’t think sticking your tongue down several different guys’ throats at a party really generates an “I’m-looking-for-a-relationship” vibe… If you’re not attempting to generate that, more power to you. Just make sure these aren’t people you see every day. If this happens to you, just move on to a new circle of friends and try not to work your way through them….that stuff just gets awkward.
Tip #3—Dating people you live with, roommates, etcETERA is usually a poor decision. That is, of course, unless you were dating them before and subsequently moved in with them, blah, blah, sittin’ in a tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G, blah.
If you are irresponsibly dating someone you live with it’s going to get complicated and you know it. Doing this in the first place is also probably indicative of your tendency to create drama behind the scenes while maintaining the innocent, helpless façade that almost everyone falls for. Stop fooling yourself and everyone else. You are insidious and conniving. It’s ok. I know you well. However, barring the potentiality of an incredibly rare romance-novel ending, this is not going to be a very healthy, nurturing relationship.
^^This picture has nothing to do with any of these tips. I just like the picture. I’ll talk about this next blog 🙂
Tip #4—Secret relationships are a no-no.
Ok, who ever thought of this? Really? I mean, this is just plain uncomfortable and stressful. Sure, it may be fun at first when you feel like a highschooler again sneaking around your parents, but seriously? What are you?
Twenty? Twelve? Being unable to be yourself in a relationship is a huge problem, but being unable to be yourself outside of it is worse. Admittedly there are reasons to start secret relationships. So what, if there’s a good reason to begin them that way, but it’s going to cause legitimate problems down the road not to mention a few miserable hours of migraines if they continue to stay hidden.
Tip #5—Trust and honesty and all that cliché stuff is important, but so is attraction.
Before you start gettin’ all up in a tizzy about how looks don’t matter, hear me out. Girls: How many of you have had that friend that you adore and get along so well with and vice versa, but are just totally unattracted to? Or maybe not totally unattracted, but there’s no spark when they try to kiss you and it’s suddenly very clear you aren’t into them? I’m betting that we’ve all been there. We’ve all been in the position where we wish we were attracted to that friend, but we just…aren’t. I honestly wish I weren’t this shallow. It is just a fact of life though; a healthy relationship is primarily built on character, but some of the bricks used are attraction and it’s hopeless to deny it.
These situations totally suck. If you’re like me, then you know it’s hard to admit to yourself, let alone the other person that you’re just not into them. You should be into them. Everything points to the two of you being seamlessly compatible but it’s just not there. In these situations it’s best to put a lid on your ego, muster up some compassion and confidence and tell this person you don’t want them. (Clearly I haven’t quite mastered the tact yet…) If you let it keep going things get tricky and neither of you end up happy, at least not if you have a conscience.
So, there. This is my euphemistic way of telling you how I’m managing to crash through my dating life here 😀 Right now I’ve managed to stir up quite a bit of trouble for myself. It’s like playing Jenga and I’m pretty sure my tower has got to tumble down at some point. I won’t say I haven’t got some pretty darn entertaining stories so far, though.
Posted on April 8, 2013, in Spring Semester, Travel and Study and tagged advice, classmates, dating, goawaycoldweather, ihaveacoldrightnowandittotallysucks, Life, mistakes, relationship, secret, Study Abroad. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.